Fourth Annual “RuPaul’s DragCon LA” Breaks Records with Over 50,000 Attendees

Emmy Award winner RuPaul and World of Wonder (“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Out Of Iraq”) hosted more than 50,000 attendees during the fourth annual “RuPaul’s DragCon LA” at the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend. The massively successful convention, which welcomed the largest ever gathering of the world’s top Drag Queens in one place, has experienced explosive growth since its debut in 2015 – increasing total attendance by 500% in just four years.

Created by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, RuPaul’s DragCon is a family-friendly event welcoming attendees – of all ages and background – to kiki with all of their favorite drag queens and stars in a creative, friendly and accessible environment. The three day event included extensively curated panels and live runway performances, talent signings, more than 30 Instagrammable moments on the floor, including the actual Werkroom from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and over 350 exhibitor booths offering attendees some of the most sickening shopping around.

“In this time of chaos and lies, for three days tens of thousands of big-hearted, super-creative, and sensitive souls peacefully gathered to celebrate their truth at RuPaul’s DragCon,” says RuPaul. “Seeing all the young people and families and queens has filled my heart with gratitude and hope. The future is going to be fierce.”

“The overwhelming success of this year’s DragCon is a testament to the talent and creative vision of the hundreds of drag artists who attended the convention,” says World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato. “Drag has become a cultural force that is here to stay.”

“As we wrap up another DragCon on Mother’s Day, it is especially exciting to see all the families that come to share the experience,” says World of Wonder co-founder Fenton Bailey. “DragCon is about life, love, laughter and inclusion. It’s about tearing down walls, not building them.”

The convention featured top talent for performances, meet and greets, panels and more, including: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Bianca Del Rio, Trixie Mattel, Billy Eichner, Alaska 5000, Jinkx Monsoon, Alyssa Edwards, Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Blair St. Clair, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Eureka, Kalorie Karbdashian Williams, Kameron Michaels, Mayhem Miller, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change, Bebe Zahara Benet, Raja, Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki, Sasha Velour, Chad Michaels, Ross Mathews, Yeardley Smith (“The Simpsons”), Tokyo Stylez, Hannah Hart, and World of Wonder co-founders & DragCon creators Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey. For full list of talent, click here.

Badges and VIP Packages for the second annual “RuPaul’s DragCon NYC” will go on sale May 14, 2018 at RuPaulsDragCon.com.

Highlights from RuPaul’s DragCon 2018 include:

  • More than 50,000 attendees explored more than 340,000 square feet of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
  • The return of the Kids Zone – an interactive space for kids. The Kid’s Zone is fully dedicated to children with arts & crafts, a bounce house, crown making, more!
  • The Crowned Queens Walk: RuPaul’s Drag Race and All Stars winners Trixie Mattel, Sasha Velour, Sharon Needles, Alaska 5000, Jinkx Monsoon and Bebe Zahara Benet sashayed down the pink carpet in front of thousands of fans.
  • The World of Wonder official merch booth featured the World of Drag Box- a quarterly subscription box with special items created by Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour and Michelle Visage – with exclusive RuPaul items in each box!
  • Sponsors including Jeffree Star Cosmetics, VH1, Facebook, Universal Pictures’ Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and more.

Panel programming highlights include:

  • In RuPaul’s annual keynote, Ru touched on the current political climate, drag kings, and, of course, Miss Vanjie. “Here we are in a time when it seems like the world’s gone backwards….politically and everything, the pendulum has swung all the way…it’s up to us and how we see ourselves on an emotional and personal level to push the conversation forward” RuPaul said.
  • DragCon LA partnered with Billy Eichner and Funny Or Die​ to bring their Glam Up the Midterms initiative to the convention​, with HeadCount on site to register voters. Billy was joined by Alaska 5000 and Peppermint for a panel on the importance of activism.
  • Brian McCook (Katya) gave an uncensored, uncut and inspirational “DEB Talk” in the style of a TED Talk about the Drag Entertainment Business.
  • Voice of Lisa Simpson Yeardley Smith participated in Drag and the Simpsons panel in anticipation of RuPaul’s upcoming guest-star role in the iconic series.
  • In the Miss Congeniality panel featuring fan-favorite queens and former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Miss Congeniality title winners BenDeLaCreme, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Latrice Royale, Pandora Boxx, & Valentina, the queens dug deep on what matters when it comes to kindness and manners both onstage and online.
  • “Community” star and “Drag Race” superfan Gillian Jacobs moderated Comedy Queens: Seriously Funny featuring Darienne Lake, Love Connie and Nicole Byer.
  • Proud Puerto Rican queens Alexis Mateo, April Carrion, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Kandy Ho, and Yara Sofia united to discuss stories of strength and resilience from the drag community in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Tune in Thursdays at 8 pm ET to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on VH1.

Leave a Reply

About the Author

James Lesch

James Lesch, aka 'Jimmy No Show', is the Publisher of Vital VOICE Magazine. He oversees business affairs, events, editorial content, cover features and creative direction. Known best for his quirky obsessions, including but not limited to Spice Girls, Power Rangers, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Bull Dogs & traveling.

View other posts by